SERVING MESA, PHOENIX, Gilbert, TEMPE AND SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
Whether your teeth are deeply stained or have simply become dull over the years, teeth whitening is a wonderful way to brighten your smile. It can minimize the visibility of imperfections and take years off your appearance. Cosmetic & neuromuscular dentist Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro offer you the option of fast, dramatic whitening in their office or a gentle, gradual process using a take-home kit.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is one of the easiest, least invasive ways to improve your smile. Imperfections such as crooked teeth or small gaps become less important, and your teeth look healthier when they are white and bright. Studies have shown that people with stained teeth appear to be in bad health or to have bad hygiene and look older than they really are. But people with white teeth are perceived as being more successful, attractive, and trustworthy, and whiter teeth can improve your chances of being hired for a job, receiving a raise, and even getting a date.
Common causes of discoloration
- Trauma to your teeth
- Metal fillings that show through the tooth structure
- Tobacco use, which creates dark yellow and brown stains
- Excessive fluoride which can give a grayish color
- Ingesting coffee, black tea, red wine, or any strongly pigmented food or drink
Some of this discoloration is removed when you have your regular professional cleaning and check-up. But some needs an extra treatment, and that is why Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro offer teeth whitening in their office.
There are two different types of tooth stains:
Extrinsic – on the outside of the teeth
Intrinsic – underneath tooth enamel
The types of stains affecting your teeth play a direct role in your tooth whitening options. The best way to learn which of these options is ideal for your needs is through a one-on-one consultation with our Mesa cosmetic dentists.
Extrinsic stains often respond very well to topical treatments. We offer in-office tooth whitening with BioLase Laser Bleaching as well as convenient UltraDent take-home kits. Both of these tooth whitening options can assist in the removal of stains resulting from foods and beverages, tobaccos use, and similar causes of tooth discoloration. However, if stains are below the enamel, these topical options may actually serve to enhance their appearance, making them ill fitted for intrinsic stains.
Intrinsic discoloration may be a product of thinning tooth enamel. It may also be caused by tetracycline, fluorosis, or an oral or systemic health condition. If you have this type of staining, whitening the enamel surrounding the discoloration will only enhance its appearance. In these cases, our cosmetic dentists recommend services that fully cover the surface of teeth to produce a bright, white, stain-free appearance.
Options for treating deep stains include:
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental bonding
- Dental crowns
All of these options are sized, shaped, and colored to integrate seamlessly into your smile and produce natural-looking but aesthetically superior results. Depending on your specific needs, it may be beneficial to combine one of these services with topical whitening to completely optimize your smile.
In-office or at-home Tooth Whitening
Your tooth whitening will be customized to fit your needs and goals. If you want fast, dramatic results, Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro can give you a speed treatment in his office using BioLase Laser Bleaching, for quick, dazzling results. If you’d prefer a more subtle, gradual change he offers the UltraDent take-home kit. Either way, your teeth will become far more bright and attractive.
Combined with other procedures
Teeth whitening can be performed alone to improve the look of your smile or in combination with other procedures, such as replacement of metal fillings with white ones, to complete your new look.
Almost anyone can benefit from tooth whitening. Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro will evaluate your smile and listen to your needs and goals in seeking cosmetic dentistry. They will go over all of your treatment options and if they feel that you would benefit more from an alternative procedure such as porcelain veneers, they will explain the advantages and disadvantages of both.
If you are considering cosmetic dentistry and want to increase the beauty of your smile, but don’t feel quite ready for dental work, teeth whitening is a great way to start. It’s amazing what a difference the color of your teeth can make.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
What causes tooth discoloration?
There are two types of tooth discoloration:
Extrinsic staining – caused by pigments in food and beverages, by tobacco use, some bacteria, accumulated plaque, metallic compounds, and topical medications. These stains are on the outside surfaces of teeth and can be removed with either professional cleaning by your dentist’s hygienist, or by a teeth whitening procedure, or both.
Intrinsic staining – caused by infections, trauma, nutritional deficiencies and some health problems, tetracycline given in childhood, hereditary factors and dental amalgam (which shows through the tooth enamel). This staining is difficult or impossible to remove, because it is deeper within the teeth than extrinsic staining.
Stains from Tetracycline given during childhood are a category on their own in that they happen while the teeth are still forming. Stains that are deep inside the teeth become darker as you work more deeply in the tooth and will show through dental restorative materials. Tetracycline stains are gray or brown, either bands of discoloration, or an overall discoloration. A qualified cosmetic dentist can sometimes treat them successfully, but in most cases the teeth will need to be covered with porcelain veneers.
What type of teeth whitening do Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro use?
Our Mesa Cosmetic Dentists offer you the option of a speed treatments in the office using BioLase Laser Bleaching or a gentle treatment using the UltraDent take-home kits.
How is teeth whitening done?
Our in-office BioLase Laser Bleaching applies a light-activated gel to your teeth, and a protective gel to your gums and lips. The laser light is then used to bleach your teeth quickly and painlessly.
The UltraDent take-home kit uses trays that are specially made to fit your teeth. You can wear the trays while you sleep or for about 60 minutes each day. The whitening gel ceases to act after about 60 minutes, but wearing them at night may be more convenient than during the day.
Will teeth whitening damage or weaken my teeth?
No. Teeth whitening is gentle and non-invasive. It will not harm the enamel or weaken the structure of your teeth.
Is the teeth whitening procedure painful?
No. The laser we use to lighten your teeth in-office avoids excess heat, and the protective gel we put on your lips and gums blocks it from that soft tissue. Both the in-office and take-home treatments are gentle and non-invasive.
How long will my teeth stay white and bright?
The results of teeth whitening can last for several years. You can extend the results by taking good care of your teeth with proper brushing and flossing and by avoiding staining foods and beverages and the use of touch up procedures including gels, strips and toothpaste.
My teeth are crooked. Will whitening still work for me?
Yes. Teeth Whitening is a great option for people with crooked teeth. The BioLase method treats each individual tooth. Our take-home kits include trays which are specially made to fit your teeth, so your entire tooth is whitened, not just the most prominent areas. Tooth whitening will not change the alignment of your teeth, but it can make any misalignment appear less important, in view of their beautiful whiteness.
Can I whiten fillings and crowns?
No. Metal alloys and porcelain do not respond to tooth whitening agents. If you have dark or discolored fillings we can replace them with porcelain fillings, or with white composite fillings, which are both color-matched to your teeth and almost impossible to detect with the naked eye.